Tag Archives: weight training

while true; do live; done

Yes, I’m still alive, and yes, so is this blog 🙂

In Denmark we’ve just had long weekend – some people might even think of it as a small vacation. Thursday, May 9, was a holiday, and most people, including me, had the day off on Friday. I visited my parents in Thy, where I ate a bunch of great food (e.g. pork roast in different ways, asparagus soup and roe deer goulash), helped my parents change the wall-to-wall carpet in their living room, went for a few walks with my parents’ dogs, ran in the forest (near Tovsig Sø), built, painted and placed hochsitzes for the upcoming bow hunting summer season, celebrated mother’s day (we bought her flowers and I went to the grocery store early for rolls), and visited my grandmother and grandfather in Øsløs. Oh, and I was on call for work the entire week and was woken up by alarms three or four nights… Argh… Well… I’ll survive.

On the following picture my dad and a fellow hunter are painting one of our hochsitzes. I helped paint another one (while also painting several parts of myself…).

The design is actually quite neat. Simple, stable and relatively lightweight. We did a Google Image Search to get inspiration. The green paint really makes them awesome. I look forward to the bow hunting season which starts tomorrow (Thursday, May 16).

I’m not going hunting tomorrow, though. I haven’t taken the day off from work, so I think I’ll be missed if I don’t show up 🙂 Actually, I do have a special arrangement for tomorrow… I’m going to the countryside to look at some real estate. More about that later – it’s time for metal music and heavy weights…

Building a power cage

This weekend I have built a power cage using wood poles, metal angle brackets, screws and hooks. It is still a work in progress, as the spotter functionality of the cage isn’t quite done yet. In the following picture I’m inaugurating the cage with a light squat set.

The picture is from this one-minute video 🙂

Rather than drilling a tedious number of construction-weakening holes for safety pins, I will use two pieces of strong rope to replace a human spotter. The rope has been bought, but I’m still pondering how to fasten it to the cage in a nice way. After that has been sorted out, the next step is to add a pull-up bar.

      

The cage is small enough to go through the doorways in my apartment, which means that it can be moved to my bedroom when I have people visiting. I’m still considering whether I should paint it. It will never be a beauty. Neither would a non-DIY metal cage. It is a functional and manly construction.

Do you even lift?

The beginning of a home gym

My right arm and shoulder are a bit sore today… Partially from playing badminton against my work colleague Normann yesterday and partially from assembling my home gym and trying it out 😉

20130412-3-my-home-gym-assembled

Yeah, okay, it is the very beginning of a home gym. And I don’t really have the space for it. The idea is that at some point, in a not too distant future, I will move into a house and dedicate a room to the gym. Until then, it can be put away in the bedroom when I have people visiting.

The simple table bucks are not meant to be a permanent solution, but for the time being they let me get started. They are quite useful for all sorts of tasks. I dream about a power rack/cage, but that might have to wait until the gym may take up more space. It is not practical to move a power rack around too much. The bucks provide sufficient safety when training without a spotter.

I received 187 kg of equipment:

   

The equipment allows me to perform:

  • {barbell,dumbbell} {ordinary,incline,decline} bench press
  • {barbell,dumbbell} military press
  • {barbell,dumbbell} squat
  • barbell deadlift
  • {ordinary,incline} sit-up
  • {barbell,dumbbell} bent-over row
  • pull-up / chin-up
  • {barbell,dumbbell} curl
  • {ordinary,incline,decline} dumbbell fly
  • {barbell,dumbbell} lunge
  • {barbell,dumbbell} shrug
  • dumbbell {lateral,front} raise
  • triceps dip
  • french press / barbell lying triceps extension
  • barbell pullover
  • barbell {straight leg,bent knee} good-morning

… and without doubt many more.

It didn’t cost me more than a cheap laptop and it will probably outlast me 🙂

Trip to the UK, being sick, working, etc.

Here is a long-awaited sign of life 🙂

Since my previous post on February 18, I have visited the UK, been down with the flu, been on call at work, eaten delicious turbot at my parents’ house, switched fitness center and attended a men’s lunch with one of my workplace’s customers.

The trip to London was on February 21-24 (a Thursday evening to a Sunday evening) and it was together with my two friends Kenneth Holleufer and Steffen Troldtoft. In huge quantities it involved traditional, English breakfast, hot Indian curry dishes, stand-up comedy, beer, cider, partying, sightseeing, etc. Pictures are available here.

On Thuesday, February 26, I worked from home, as I was down with the flu. I suspect I got infected on my way home from the UK. In my time on the “labor market”, it was my first time calling in sick. I managed to work approx five hours from my couch during the day, so it ended up not being an entire day of downtime. Also, I caught up the hours in the following days. I had a major headache, my intestinal region had a mind of its own, and all my joints and muscles were sore. It lasted until Thursday/Friday. Despite the sickness, I managed to be on call for my workplace, as it was my responsibility that week.

The week ended with a one-day visit to my parents’ house, where we had a delicious dinner with turbot (the picture to the right). I remember it was a beautiful, sunny day, where I went for a walk with my parents’ dogs, washed my car and cut my brother’s hair. My brother wanted to try a buzz cut and I just followed orders with my hair trimmer.

I have switched from Fitness World to a small, local fitness center in Aalborg Øst called Fitness Ø. The switch roughly halves the distance and the price. Fitness Ø’s opening hours are somewhat better than Fitness World’s on Saturdays and Sundays, even though Fitness Ø has some silly, women-only hours on Sundays from 6 AM to 2 PM. Now I just need to get back to stable rhythm, where I go there three to four times a week. The chain kept falling off the gears on my old bike, and in general it was annoying to ride. Two days ago, i.e. on March 7, I took the bus to Harald Nyborg (also known as “Harald Skrald”…) and bought a new, cheap bike. If it works for a year or so, I’m satisfied. It will transport me between home, work, grocery shopping and Fitness Ø.

20130308-steak-tartare-at-mens-lunch-with-customerYesterday, i.e. on Friday, March 8, I enjoyed a men’s dinner with one of my workplace’s customers at restaurant Kohalen in Århus. It involved beer, schnapps, Arnbitter, marinated herring, fried herring, shrimp, eel, egg stand, tenderloin steaks, warm liver pate with bacon and mushrooms, steak tartare, crackers with cheese, and pancakes with ice cream. Very delicious food and very good company. It was the first time I have ever eaten steak tartare. The picture to the right is of a colleague’s plate. My version had a bunch of grated horseradish, and the egg yolk was distributed over the steak. It was fun to try the dish, but I found it a bit boring. It mostly tasted of horseradish and onions. Of course that’s not a bad taste in itself, but I think the steak would have been tastier, if it had been fried and prepared with freshly-ground pepper. We had a beer afterwards at Kurts Mor before driving home to Aalborg in the Netic Touran (I was the designated driver). Compared to my Aygo, it was fun to drive an automatic and in general to drive a car with a bit more power. It is probably best for the integrity of my driver’s license that I do not trade the Aygo for something more powerful yet.

A new year begins

Weight training in Østerild Multicenter on December 27, 2012 - the shirt reads "pedal force, yes please" :-)Many exciting things happened in my life in 2012, and I had a plan to go through most of them in post. A huge task in itself. Moreover, I wanted to write about what I’ve done during the Christmas holidays and how I celebrated New Year’s Eve. I have realized, however, that I will never get that utopian post written properly, and that if I did, it would become too long for anybody to read. So many good intentions, so little time. I actually write less on the blog when I experience a lot, because no time is left for reporting… After all, it must be better to live in the moment than to always think about how to present it afterwards.

Here is a few headlines from 2012:

    • I began the year by saying goodbye to my old workplace Telenor and welcome to Netic. Also, I moved from the western part of Aalborg to the eastern part. I had 1.5 km from home to work, when I worked at Telenor. Now I have 1 km. After a year I’m still very happy with both my new workplace and my new apartment.
    • I trained for Copenhagen Marathon, but I couldn’t run it due to an injury. I travelled to Copenhagen and was a spectator, which was also a touching experience. The injury was the cause for my shift to minimalistic running in FiveFingers and Vivobarefoot Evo II. I cannot yet determine whether it has helped or not.
    • I attended an awesome Rammstein concert in Herning on February 22.
    • I ran a very brutal half marathon, Thy Trail (Half) Marathon, on February 26.
    • I attended Top Gear Live in Copenhagen with my work colleagues on March 31.
    • I participated in the Silverstone Challenge with a number of my work colleagues on April 24. Everybody should try that! This was my second trip to the UK ever – my first trip was in May 2011.
    • I became ITIL v3 Foundation certified on June 11-13.
    • I attended Nibe Festival with my work colleagues on July 7.
    • I attended TheCamp.dk in week 30 (give or take, i.e. July 21-28), where I, together with my friend and work colleague Georg Sluyterman, held a long and technical talk about DNSSEC.
    • I attended the wedding of my two good friends, Mads Chr. Olesen and Jane Billestrup, on August 4.
    • I participated in the relay running event at Elektronik Cup with my work colleagues on August 17.
    • I attended the wedding of my two good friends, Troels and Lone Frøkjær Christensen, on September 1.
    • I attended the 10-year anniversary party for my workplace on September 29-30.
    • I bought my first car, a Toyota Aygo from 2008, on October 1. This was approx ten years after I got my driving license. I managed to drive approx 4,000 km during October, November and December.
    • I participated in Xtreme Mandehørm Aalborg with Hans Jacob Møller and Morten Klingenberg on October 6.
    • I participated in BakkeChallenge in Silkeborg (beautiful but exhausting 10 km of forest) with Hans Klemmensen on November 3.
    • Together with my brother, Christian Toft, I was photographed, such that we were able to give our parents (and grandparents) a photography of us. This happened on a very cold and windy Friday morning on November 23 at Click Foto in Aalborg.
    • I became 28 on November 26. I’m becoming somewhat old, hmm…
    • My parents’ silver wedding anniversary was on November 27.
    • I had my car treated with a Dinitrol anti-rust treatment on November 28.
    • I attended the Christmas party for my workplace on December 1-2.
    • My parents held a very fine party for family and close friends on December 8, where their silver wedding anniversary and my mother’s 50-year birthday were celebrated.
    • My mother became 50 on December 15.
    • I held a small, semi-spontaneous party on New Year’s Eve for my three friends Steffen Troldtoft, Kenneth Holleufer and Chris Nielsen. I had made shrimp cocktails and braised roast beef. The roast was served with baked potatoes, onions and carrots from the braising of the roast, garlic bread, homemade brown sauce, salad and a delicious bottle of 2012 game-wine from Holte Vinlager. The dessert was icecream with caramel sauce and waffles.

Apparently, “a few” is now redefined to be 24 🙂

I hate to use the term “New Year’s resolution”, so I will not, but I’ve decided to start getting up early and do most of my training in the morning. My circadian rhythm will no longer move daily, at least when I haven’t been to a party and haven’t had my sleep disturbed by work.

My left ankle is sore at the moment, so regarding fitness I’m focusing on eating healthy and doing weight training rather than running. Besides that, I’m playing with a Raspberry Pi, which will be my new media center.

Update, 2012-01-05 07:07:42: Like 2011, 2012 didn’t bring a girl into the picture. It didn’t even bring real desire to go look for one. No, I’m not gay. No, I don’t think it’s wrong to be gay. A few of my best friends are.

Plans for the Christmas holidays

Do you have plans for the Christmas holidays? I do 😉

Unlike last year, where I spent a large part of my Christmas holidays closing loose ends at my previous employer (before leaving), I have true freedom this year. Some of my plans, if you disregard celebrating Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve:

  • Run, preferably in my new Vivobarefoot Evo II shoes, if I receive them before Christmas (update: I did! Wee!)
  • Hunt, both with rifle and shotgun.
  • Finish reading the book Born to Run and start reading the book Flaskepost fra P.
  • Configure and use my Raspberry Pi, if I receive it before Christmas (update: I didn’t… second update: I’ll get it on December 22! Wee!)
  • Do some light weight training in the fitness center.
  • Change the bulbs in my car’s dash board/heater module, if I don’t get it done before Christmas.
  • Participate in the annual family Christmas party.

Christmas 2012

Getting off the couch

“Dear diary,

tonight was awesome. It was one of those nights, where I managed to get off my couch and on my bike to the fitness center, even though I was feeling mentally tired from work and physically tired from eating dinner. Covered by a blanket, watching an episode of my favorite TV series, I honestly considered staying at home. But I made it. And it was nothing less than glorious. As usual, I had a lot more energy than I thought. Actually, it was probably one of those evenings, where I even had a bit more energy than usual. The pull-ups, the squats, the hyperextensions, etc. They just felt good. Thanks goes out to two of my favorite bands for keeping me company (Illdisposed and Slipknot). Weight training, metal music, strained facial expressions and sweat go well together.

So, seriously, remember that you have a lot more energy than you think when you’re feeling heavy on the couch. You have to get up and get moving to unleash it. You will feel awesome afterwards. It will be worth it.”

Back on track

After a few weeks of sin, both food and training wise, my clothes are starting to tighten up a little. It’s time to get back on track.

The first step is healthy food. Tonight I’m cooking a spicy stew with veal, onions, garlic, tomato (paste and chopped), peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and beans. The spices are chili, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, freshly ground pepper and salt. I have made approx 5.5 liters, so I hope it ends up tasting good. I only know for sure tomorrow, as the spices need a day or so to affect the stew. Second/third/fourth day stew is always the best.

I have discovered, of course via Facebook, that Arnold Schwarzenegger has started blogging about weight training and fitness in general. His fitness blog isn’t an entirely new thing, but it seems the blog has become somewhat more alive in 2012, and especially in June and July. The posts I’ve read so far have been interesting and I look forward to many more.

While I have been writing this post, frequently walking back and forth between the stove in my kitchen and the laptop in my living room, the stew has become ready for a night in the refrigerator: